Next up in my series on aging, "It's Never Too Late," is #2, Balance issues.
What causes balance issues? Inner ear disorders, head injuries, neurological conditions and even medical issues such as diabetes, heart disease and thyroid problems, or, medications could be the culprit, too. In other words — it could be hard to find out what is causing these balance issues. There are a lot of avenues to investigate. It could make your head spin! Did I mention vertigo is a common cause of balance issues?
One of the beautiful aspects of homeopathy is we don’t need to know if it’s a thyroid problem or an inner ear disturbance. We only need to know what symptoms play out with these balance issues. Can it help if we know the cause? Sure, but it’s not necessary.
Let me be clear here, though. I am not suggesting to skip the investigation. Definitely figure it out with the help of a medical professional.
Signs and symptoms of balance problems include (Mayo Clinic 2018):
This could become a long article with lots of twists and turns (a little vertigo-causing itself it could be, actually!) but we’re not going there. We’re going to make it simple.
We’re going to look at the top homeopathic remedies for vertigo, dizziness, falling and the sensation of falling.
Calcarea carbonica, Calc carb for short. Clumsy, awkward, falls easily. Feet may turn inward when walking. Get tired from a short walk. There may be a tendency to fall to either side, particularly the left side, or backward. Vertigo can be caused by turning the head, looking upward or going upstairs/uphill. This is an excellent remedy for the elderly in and of itself, regardless of a tendency to fall.
Cocculus indicus has a fear of falling and a tendency to fall to either side. Cocculus has an affinity for the spine, and especially of its motor nerves. “There may be a weakness in the small of the back, as if paralyzed; the small of the back gives out when walking; the soles of the feet feel as if they were asleep; the thighs ache as if they had been pounded; first one hand then the other goes to sleep; sometimes the whole arm falls asleep … These symptoms lie at the foundation of the symptomatology of the whole drug; they all seem to depend upon spinal weakness” (Farrington 2010). In most cases which respond well to Cocculus, there is some component of vertigo at play and may be accompanied by nausea which may be worse in a sitting position or when changing from a reclining to a sitting position.
Natrum muriaticum. Nat-mur has a fear of falling, too. With vertigo, this remedy has a tendency to fall forward or to the left. The vertigo feels as if they are falling and may be worse standing near a window (or looking out of a window) or on closing the eyes and is improved when lying with the head propped high. Vertigo may be worse in the morning, especially when getting out of bed and occasionally the vertigo may be accompanied by nausea or nosebleeds.
Nux vomica fears falling, too, but particularly in the afternoon. (Homeopathy never fails to amaze me with its odd specificities!) With vertigo, a person who may benefit from Nux vomica isn’t so particular which way they fall: forward, backward or to the side. The vertigo of Nux-v feels as if the brain (and other objects) turn in a circle.
Rhus toxicodendron tends to fall backward, forward, or, to the right. It’s a major remedy for the tendency to fall when rising from bed. Or, they may have the sensation as if they would fall over. There may be a fear of death or a weakness of memory during the vertigo. Vertigo may be worse when lying down. Rhus tox is also noted in a form of vertigo common in old age which gives a sensation of confusion and dullness (Choudhuri 2016).
Stramonium popped up in the search as the only remedy listed for the following: tends to fall backward while walking; tends to fall in the dark; tends to fall to the right while sitting or rising from bed from a sitting position. There is also a tendency to hallucinations that they are falling. Vertigo is worse walking in the dark or when the eyes are closed.
A few other remedies with some particular falling tendencies (single remedy rubrics):
Phosphorus for vertigo with a tendency to fall from a chair.
Causticum tends to fall to the left while looking upward.
Spigelia tends to fall while looking down.
Strength and balance training are always a good thing, despite your age. I know nothing about Elderlygym.com, but they had some good, common sense information and some clever exercises to get started on reclaiming your balance. Or, find a well-qualified yoga or pilates teacher who has experience working with people your age.
If you (or a loved one) finds yourself no longer vertical on a regular basis, get it checked out.
“To put everything in balance is good, to put everything in harmony is better.” Victor Hugo.
Homeopathy can help with both.
Julia Coyte, CHom
Classically Practical homeopath
Choudhuri, N. M., 2016. A study on materia medica : an ideal text-book for homoeopathic students. Accessed through Radar Opus software. Noida, U.P., India: B. Jain Publishers (P) Ltd.
Elderlygym.com, 2019. 12 Best Elderly Balance Exercises For Seniors to Reduce the Risk of Falls [online]. Eldergym® Senior Fitness. Available from: .
Farrington, A., 2010. Lectures on Clinical Materia Medica in Family Order. Accessed through Radar Opus software.
Mayo Clinic, 2018. Balance problems - Symptoms and causes [online]. Mayo Clinic.
Morrison, R., 1998. Desktop companion to physical pathology. Nevada City, Calif.: Hahnemann Clinic Publ.
Murphy, R., n.d. Repertory, version 3. Accessed through Radar Opus software.
Julia Coyte, CHom
I am passionate about homeopathy and I love sharing this passion. Having a working knowledge of homeopathy shouldn't be kept a secret. If people have the ability to help themselves, their children and their friends when they have minor ailments, life just gets better for everyone. That is the purpose behind Ruminating on Remedies.